Women's Issues In Guyana


IWD finds women being less restricted—WPO

Posted in Gender Equality by wiig on March 9, 2007
Tags: , , ,

Kaieteur News – March 9, 2007

The Women’s Progressive Organisation (WPO), the women’s arm of the ruling People’s Progressive Party, yesterday held a symposium, at Freedom House, in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2007.

The convention, which was attended by scores of women, reflected on the struggles of women over the years and on some of the important events that paved the way for the worldwide event.

Indranie Chandarpal, General Secretary of the WPO, detailed the role of women in politics and examined the role of the WPO in the country’s political life.

She noted that after the formation of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in 1950, the WPO was formed in 1953 solely for the empowerment of women, since women were not included in society in a just way.

Chandarpal added that many women were without a proper education and they had limited access to jobs and involvement in decision-making in society. 

Segregation still existed and there were women who had no rights to own property or to marital support, she said.

“It was against such a background that the formation of the WPO was both opportune and necessary,” said Chandarpal.

Chandarpal urged the women present to be encouraged that women’s rights have progressed over the years.

“This is evident with the election of a female Chancellor Angela Merkel, the first ever in Germany ; Liberia ‘s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, another first in Africa; President-elect in Chile Michelle Bachelet, the first female Head of State in Chile ; and Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica in 2006. In Guyana , there was the first elected female President, in Janet Jagan, who was elected in 1997.”

She noted that women in local education sector included graduates from the Cyril Potter College of Education represented 86.4 per cent between 1998 and 2002. Those from the University of Guyana with Diplomas and Degrees accounted for 65 per cent of all graduates.

She emphasised that the given historical realities are that women are no longer restricted by the Constitution and the laws.

President of the WPO, Janet Jagan, called on women to be thankful for the efforts made their predecessors in previous years to afford them the opportunities available today.

In 1975 the United Nations (UN) took a decision to commemorate International Women’s Day several decades after the first event was held in 1910 and proclaimed the decade 1975 to 1985 the Decade for Women.

In 1980 the UN held the first international conference of women in Mexico City.

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